The College Football Playoff committee has quite a decision on its hands for the final spot in the final four.
Will it choose a two-loss conference champion in Urban Meyer’s Ohio State squad? Or will the committee go with 11-1 Alabama, which was ranked No. 1 for most of the season before an Iron Bowl loss knocked the Tide out of the running for a conference championship in Week 13?
Shortly after Ohio State knocked off No. 4 Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game on Saturday night, Meyer took the stage to accept the conference’s championship trophy in Indianapolis on Saturday night.
Fox Sports announcer Joel Klatt was there, ready to lob the question we all wanted answered. He made sure to sugarcoat it as best he could, leaving out embarrassing losses to Oklahoma and Iowa when describing the Buckeyes’ season:
Joel Klatt: “Coach, this is the second time that you’ve been on this stage lifting that trophy. The last time you did it, you guys went on to the playoff and did something pretty great. You have two wins over top 10 teams, a pretty darn good résumé and you’re a conference champion. If you were in the room tonight and tomorrow, what would you tell the committee?”
Urban Meyer: “Well, we have two wins over two top 4 teams. And we also had another one, I believe they were ranked 12th or 13th. We’re the conference champions. I love these guys. I’ve never been more proud of a group of players. And we deserve a shot.”
Klatt smiled. The crowd roared. Alabama fans reached for their waste baskets because they felt nauseous. All predictable reactions.
What it will get down to is this: How much will the committee value wins against Penn State and Wisconsin relative to losses against the Sooners and Hawkeyes? And will the Crimson Tide get the credit it deserves for a road loss to Auburn after the Tigers failed to beat Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday?
Coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide likely will have a hard time sleeping, but the answer will be revealed soon enough on Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned.